The Kooky Kids’ Club by Robbie Yates #BlogTour #BookReview

I am so delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for The Kooky Kids’ Club by Robbie Yates on the Digital Reads Blog Tours.

Digital Reads Blog Tours presents The Kooky Kids' Club by Robbie Yates

Book Details

The Kooky Kids’ Club by Robbie Yates

86 pages

Published: November 10, 2018

ASIN: B07KDVSNKG

ISBN-10: 173080604X

ISBN-13: 978-1730806049

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Children’s Books, Young at Heart

Book Blurb

Maxine is smart, quirky, and a bit of a misfit. One day, she receives a mysterious invitation to a meeting of the “Kooky Kids’ Club.”

Things are looking bright. It’s nice to finally have a real group of friends. Then Maxine’s teacher disappears.

Maxine doesn’t know what happened to her beloved teacher, or how she can help. But if anybody has the smarts to help Miss Thompson, it’s Maxine and the Kooky Kids’ Club…

My Review

The Kooky Kids' Club by Robbie YatesI just love it when I discover that the real story lies behind the lines of the narrative printed and that’s what happens when you read The Kooky Kids’ Club by Robbie Yates. It’s the lesson to be learned, the moral of the story that is sneaked in, and the nod of the head that, yes, this was good.

Little protagonist Maxine is struggling with school. She just doesn’t fit in and it doesn’t help when she tries to fit in as those always seem to lead to “Maxine Moments.” Her bright light is her teacher, Miss Thompson, and her aunt Izzie. And then Maxine receives a mysterious invitation. Afraid to check it out, but too curious not to, she discovers a club with other members just like her. They are sweet and thoughtful, smart and talented. And she fits in just fine. Blossoms. Finds her own power and with her new friends…

Strength.

But then suddenly, Miss Thompson is gone and Maxine enlists the help of her new friends and The Kooky Kids’ Club to discover what happened and bring her back.

I’d wager many of us see ourselves in Maxine and fervently wish we’d had our own quirky club. What a difference it might have made in those school years! Here we can revel in the discoveries Maxine makes and the kids that drive success and contentment. Maxine can enjoy her uniqueness with confidence.

I received my invitation to participate in The Kooky Kids’ Club from Shalini and Robbie Yates and jumped in with both feet. This has such a sweet premise and delivers with that feel-good conclusion. So appreciated the ebook download and the opportunity to read and review. Definitely a book for those tough middle-school years and recommended for parent/tween involvement. You can both use it!

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Five of Five Stars Five Stars of Five Rating

About the Author

Robbie Yates - author(From Amazon) Robbie Yates is a children’s author who also dabbles in terrible and ridiculous poetry. Robbie has been a fan of fiction since he was a young child himself (in the days of cassette tapes and dial-up internet).

Robbie is based in the vibrant city of Melbourne, Australia. He enjoys drawing, the crunch of autumn leaves, and eating tasty snacks from his childhood.

In his free time, Robbie likes to read the stories of Roald Dahl, Paul Jennings and J.K. Rowling. Robbie also likes to go geocaching, play board games, and have water-balloon fights.

Author Links Robbie Yates - author

Amazon Author Central page 

Author’s Website 

√  Facebook  √ Twitter √ Goodreads √ Instagram

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

December 3
Miss Honeybug’s Reads & Crafts
Macsbooks
The Book Decoder
The Spoonie Mummy

December 4
The Bookworm Drinketh
Ashi responding to life
Zany Bibliophile
The Avid Inspri

December 5
Write Where I Read
The Cozy Pages
Audio Killed the Bookmark
Bibliogyan

December 6
Bookgraphy
DeepAsThoughts
Bookish rantings
Untie Readers

December 7
Lily’s Blissful Pages
Rosepoint Publishing
Sophril Reads
Ambivert Words

December 8
Jessica Rachow
Bookish Wisps
Swift Coffee
Belles-Lettres

Digital Reads Blog ToursThanks to Shalini at Digital Reads Blog Tours for the opportunity to read and review this intermediate literary novel!

©2018 V Williams

V Williams

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Purls and Poison by Anne Canadeo #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Purls and Poison by Anne Canadeo

I am so delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for Purls and Poison (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery) by Anne Canadeo on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Scroll down to enter your chance to win the Giveaway!

Book Details

Purls and Poison (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Kensington (October 30, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496708636
ISBN-13: 978-1496708632
Digital ASIN: B079KT54BW
Book Blurb

When a fellow Black Sheep Knitter is suspected of poisoning her coworker, the group puts down their needles and takes up their friend’s defense . . .

Suzanne Cavanaugh has just about had it with her office rival at Prestige Properties. It’s bad enough that Liza Devereaux is constantly needling her at work, but when she shows up at one of Suzanne’s open houses to poach potential buyers, it’s the last straw. No one in the office fails to hear the two snarling at each other.

When Liza is later found dead in her office cubicle—poisoned by a diet shake—Suzanne becomes the prime suspect. It’s soon discovered, though, that Liza had double-crossed so many around town and stashed their dark secrets in her designer handbags that anyone could be the culprit.

The Black Sheep Knitters have no doubt their friend has been framed—but they need to prove it. Stirred to action, they get together to catch a sneaky killer who’s trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes . . .

My Review

I’m a big knitter at heart, so seeing the title and blurb sold me on signing up for the opportunity to read this little cozy. (Well, I must confess to messing with some crocheting as well, but knitting is my fav.) The idea of a group of lady knitters, best friends, sitting around with a glass of vino, trying to solve a murder mystery definitely piques the interest, huh? Well, obviously, these are not the ladies you’d normally imagine in a knitting group.

This particular entry to the series has Suzanne as a prominent character, although Maggie imparts some wisdom as well. The group consists of Suzanne, Maggie, Dana, Lucy, and Phoebe. Each has their own backgrounds, stories to tell, and fields of expertise. Suzanne is an upper-level real estate agent, dealing in better homes, and apparently has some serious office competition in Liza Devereaux. Liza is very good at what she does and manages to take a client and a sale from Suzanne that would have earned her a douzy commission. They fight, publicly, big time.

After meeting with her Black Sheep Knitting group (and mellowing out some), she is ready to offer an apology only to be the one who discovers Liza’s body. Suzanne is naive and easily admits to having the big fight with Liza. Suzanne has an amazingly sweet, understanding, and patient hubby in Kevin, and Maggie has a significant other in Detective Charles Mossbacher. It is Charles along with his partner Frank who take the emotional Suzanne in for questioning.  She is also her own worst enemy and opens her mouth one too many times until one of her group finds her an attorney.

I particularly appreciated Maggie, the owner of the knitting shop. She has attained an easy-going manner in life and created a successful business with a good head on her shoulders. I also liked Lucy. Charles is a good guy just trying to do his job. The ladies are trying to do theirs–not for the first time apparently.

The well-plotted storyline moves along at an even pace. The knitters do an impressive job of creating donated baby and toddler items. The group enjoys each other’s company and exchange ideas and offer encouragement and backing to Suzanne and it’s a pleasure to partake, even if vicariously, in their get-togethers. There are red herrings, diversion of possible perps, investigated and dismissed or pursued. The dialogue is easy and natural and the conclusion swings in unexpectedly, though not wholly a surprise.

(Unfortunately, once again, I’ve come in at the second in the series* and get the feeling I may have missed some important developing going on in the first of the series. So you might wish to begin with the first.)

I was given this ebook download by the publisher and NetGalley for this book tour and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for those who enjoy cozy mysteries, crafting hobbies including knitting, and women sleuths.

*[Goodreads note: Starting with book #9, the series changed publishers and are published with a slightly different series name of “A Black Sheep & Company Mystery,” but they are a continuation of the Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries series.]

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Giveaway

Sign up for your chance to win one of (3) Autographed Copy of Purls and Poison (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery) by Anne Canadeo (U.S. Only) in this  Rafflecopter giveaway 

About the Author

Anne Canadeo is the best-selling author of more than 30 books, including the Black Sheep & Company Mysteries, and as Katherine Spencer, the Cape Light and Angel Island series. She somehow manages to write a lot,  despite many and much-loved distractions — such as digging up the garden, hanging out with her dog, trying new recipes, drinking copious amounts of mint tea, eating chocolate and volunteer work in the community. She lives in Northport, NY, a village on the Long Island Sound very much like the settings of her stories. Anne loves to hear from readers. Answering their messages is definitely another favorite distraction in her day.

Author Links  

Website: annecanadeo.com
Facebooks: www.facebook.com/AnneCanadeoAuthor
Instagram:    www.instagram.com/annecanadeo

Purchase Links
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Powell Books

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

November 8 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 8 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST

November 9 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 10 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

November 11 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 12 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 12 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

November 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 13 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

November 14 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

November 15 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 16 – The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT

November 17 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 18 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 20 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

November 20 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST

November 21 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT Great Escapes Book Tours

Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

A Cold Brew Killing by Lena Gregory #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

A Cold Brew Killing by Lena Gregory

I am so delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for A Cold Brew Killing by Lena Gregory on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Scroll down to enter for your chance to win this very special Giveaway!

Book Details

A Cold Brew Killing (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Lyrical Underground (November 6, 2018)
Print Length Approximately 250 Pages
Digital ASIN: B079R5Y14L

Book Blurb

When an ice cream vendor discovers a frozen stiff, Florida diner owner Gia Morelli has to serve up some just desserts . . .

Gia has become good friends with Trevor, a fun, flirtatious bachelor who owns the ice cream parlor down the street from her popular All-Day Breakfast Café. Trevor has the scoop on all sorts of local attractions and activities. But when he bursts into her diner, trembling and paler than a pint of French Vanilla, she can tell something’s very wrong. Trevor points her toward his shop then passes out cold. When Gia runs down to his shop, she discovers a chilling sight—a dead body in the open freezer. But the ice cream man’s troubles are just beginning. The police suspect him of this murder a la mode, especially when details of his questionable past surface. Gia believes in her friend and is determined to clear his name and find the real cold-blooded killer before someone else gets put on ice . .

My Review

A Cold Brew Killing by Lena GregoryThis is the third book of the All-Day Breakfast Café Mystery series and my second with the series and author. All the special characters of the series are back including protagonist Gia and her BFF Savannah Mills, possible heart-throb and acting captain Hunter Quinn, owner of the Storm Scoopers, Trevor Barnes, and Thor, a Bernese Mountain dog, who is definitely growing into his paws. I think my favorite support staff, however, is Earl (first customer ALWAYS in the morning) along with Cole, who works the grill in this Boggy Creek, Florida cafe.

Gia is trying to spread her wings and her menu by adding a cold brew which is not catching on as fast as she’d like. After arriving early to greet her staff, she is confronted by Trevor who has discovered a man in his walk-in freezer. Frozen, of course. Trevor is a good buddy and she positively, absolutely, without doubt knows Trevor couldn’t have done it, but you know he’ll get hauled in any way, setting her up for some sleuthing.

The well-plotted and engaging storyline delves into political headlines with candidates unfit to win and the games played in high school. The author puts quite a spin on the conspiracy and includes a number of red herrings, and if you haven’t paid attention you’ll keep guessing the antagonist. Gotcha! This is one you won’t have caught! (Okay, I didn’t. Maybe you will.)

I love the little scenes with Thor, who still thinks he’s a lap-puppy. And the dialogue is very natural, particularly between Gia and Savannah. But between her and Hunt?

“It’s just a scratch, Gia.” “It’s a bullet wound.” Hunt laughed. Laughed! The nerve. “Don’t worry, the EMT’s will fix you up. I’m pretty sure they have Band-Aids.” “Band–?”

(Well, I’m insulted, too!) In Book 2, he was “Tall, Dark, and Compelling.” In this one, he is “Tall, Dark, and Snippy.” (I’m ready to dump his ass but I guess she is more forgiving.)

Gia has collected a solid group of homebodies willing to cover her back and given her early childhood is just what she needs–driving home a theme of family. The conclusion wraps up all the loose ends that seamlessly includes a small subplot. My only complaint is the heavy description of food service, although I must admit she sounds like a well-choreographed juggler.

The town reads like small town USA and has a comfortable sense to the area. On the whole, the author has put together a solid group of main and support characters that can be read as a standalone.

I was given this ebook download by the publisher and NetGalley for this book tour and greatly appreciate the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for southern cozy mystery readers and those who enjoy the adventures of women sleuths.

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Giveaway

Don’t miss your chance to enter this special giveaway for a (3) $10 Amazon Gift Card in this Rafflecopter giveaway 

About the Author

Lena Gregory - authorLena Gregory lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

Author Links:

Website:  http://www.lenagregory.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lena.gregory.986

Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/Lena.Gregory.Author/?fref=ts

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LenaGregory03

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14956514.Lena_Gregory?from_search=true

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/lenagregoryauth/

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N  Kobo

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

November 6 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 6 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

November 7 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 7 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

November 8 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

November 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

November 9 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

November 10 – Jane Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 11 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 11 – cherylbbookblog – SPOTLIGHT

November 12 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

November 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

November 13 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW

November 13 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

November 14 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

November 14 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 15 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 16 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

November 16 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

November 17 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 17 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

November 19 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST Great Escapes Book Tours

Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

A Vintage Death by Mary Ellen Hughes #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

A Vintage Death by Mary Ellen Hughes

I am delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for A Vintage Death by Mary Ellen Hughes on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Scroll down to enter your chance to win the Giveaway!

Book Details

A Vintage Death (A Keepsake Cove Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Midnight Ink (November 8, 2018)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 0738752274
ISBN-13: 978-0738752273
ASIN: B0795RTP2B  

Book Blurb

As the new music box store owner and resident of Keepsake Cove, a quaint town full of collectible shops on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Callie Reed is eager to get more involved in her community. She volunteers to plan the Fall street decorations and welcome a visiting author who’s come for a special book signing. But the celebratory mood is cut short when the local B&B owner is found dead, killed by a pair of vintage scissors.

Suspicion is cast on the victim’s estranged wife, Dorothy, who owns Keepsake Cove’s vintage sewing shop. Callie is sure Dorothy is innocent, and the visiting author agrees. Together, they begin their own investigation, only to discover that many people in Keepsake Cove have secrets. Secrets that are worth killing to keep quiet.

My Review

A Vintage Death by Mary Ellen HughesCallie Reed is trying to get involved in her small Maryland’s Eastern Shore community in which she inherited from her aunt Melody, the House of Melody, a music box shop, and the little cottage behind the shop. The Keepsake Cove Merchant’s Association has accepted her offer to plan and coordinate a special book signing, along with planning festive fall decorations to help draw in happy shoppers.

It is a quaint town center full of collectible shops, including Stitches Thru Time, a vintage sewing shop owned by Dorothy Ashby, and the Keepsake Cove Cafe the owner Brian. Brian is being groomed as a possible love interest after Callie’s disastrous ending to an affair which was finally ended by her moving away. The visiting author is an absolute delight and my favorite character of the book, being so well developed you wanted to take pictures, as well as Tabitha, Callie’s shop assistant, her right-hand person, and character in constant disguise. Too much fun and easy to imagine.

Shortly after Lyssa Hammond arrives to prepare for her book signing, however, the owner of the B&B is found murdered in an adjacent park. The victim is the estranged husband to Dorothy and appears to have died from being stabbed with a pair of vintage scissors–hers. Of course, everyone will look at Dorothy, but Callie is sure she couldn’t/wouldn’t have done it and the visiting author agrees.

Although this is the second in the series, the narrative has no problem as a standalone. These characters are strongly visualized and each unique. As I’ve always found with a cozy mystery, the well-plotted storyline engages the reader with red herrings and plot twists. I particularly loved the build-up to the book signing, the author’s unusual entrance, and the appearance of a successful event. Many hands and thoughtful persons worked together to create an enviable community event. Too bad it is marred by the discovery the following morning of a second murder, much in the same vicinity and in the same manner.

There is a supernatural or paranormal element to the narrative in a particular music box and the protagonist comes off as an effective and subtle woman sleuth with help from Lyssa. Ms. Hughes will have you suspecting a few support characters as well as townsfolk, but the conclusion settles all, even with a couple surprises.

I was given this ebook download for the book tour by the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciate the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for all who enjoy a cozy mystery, women sleuths, and small-town drama and support.

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Giveaway

Sign up for your chance to win (1) Print Copy – A Vintage Death (A Keepsake Cove Mystery) by Mary Ellen Hughes (U.S. Only) of this  Rafflecopter giveaway

Mary Ellen Hughes - author

Mary Ellen Hughes is the bestselling author of the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries (Penguin), the Craft Corner Mysteries, and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries, along with several short stories. A Fatal Collection is her debut with Midnight Ink. A Wisconsin native, she has lived most of her adult life in Maryland, where she’s set many of her stories. Visit her at www.MaryEllenHughes.com.

Author Links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MaryEllenHughesauthor

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/mehughes13/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/mehughesauthor

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/402922.Mary_Ellen_Hughes

Purchase Links – Amazon    B&N  Midnight Ink

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

A VINTAGE DEATH TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 7 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

November 7 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 7 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 7 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

November 8 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST

November 8 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, Sissy, & Too!  – SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 9 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 9 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

November 9 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

November 9 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

November 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 10 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 10 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

November 10 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 11 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

November 11 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 11 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT*

November 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

November 12 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

November 12 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

November 13 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 13 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

November 13 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW

November 14 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

November 14 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 14 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

November 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

November 15 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

November 15 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

November 16 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

November 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW Great Escapes Book Tours

 Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

House of Ashes by Loretta Marion #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

House of Ashes by Loretta Marion

I am so delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for House of Ashes: A Haunted Bluffs Mystery by Loretta Marion on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Scroll down to enter your chance to win this super Giveaway!

Book Details

House of Ashes: A Haunted Bluffs Mystery
Supernatural Mystery
1st in Series
Crooked Lane Books (November 13, 2018)

Hardcover, 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1683318439
ISBN-13: 978-1683318439

Book Blurb

A family patriarch’s dying proclamation, an enigmatic disappearance, and a century-old curse converge in the shadows of a majestic home on Cape Cod’s craggy coast.

Thirty-seven-year-old painter Cassandra Mitchell is fourth-generation to live in the majestic Battersea Bluffs, a brooding Queen Anne home originally built by her great-grandparents, Percy and Celeste Mitchell, and still standing despite tragedies that have swept the generations. Local lore has it that there was a curse placed on the family and the house is haunted, though opinions are divided on whether it’s by malicious or benevolent spirits. Cassie believes the latter―but now she stands to lose her beloved home to mounting debt and the machinations of her dream-weaving ex-husband.

Salvation seems to arrive when a nomadic young couple wanders onto the property with the promise of companionship and much-needed help―until they vanish without a trace, leaving behind no clue to their identities. Cassie is devastated, but determined to discover what’s happened to the young couple…even as digging into their disappearance starts to uncover family secrets of her own. Despite warnings from her childhood friend, now the local Chief of Police―as well as an FBI agent who pushes the boundaries of professionalism―Cassie can’t help following the trail of clues (and eerie signals from the old house itself) to unravel the mystery. But can she do so before her family’s dark curse destroys everything in its path?

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My Review

House of Ashes by Loretta MarionCassandra Mitchell is the great-granddaughter of Percy and Celeste Mitchell who built the gorgeous Battersea Bluffs mansion in Whale Rock, Massachusetts, Cape Cod where she now lives alone. She is 37 years old and tenaciously clings to the family Victorian despite its history, local folklore, and apparent supernatural experiences.

The author sets up a time warp storyline that begins with the events that set the stage for the tragic deaths of her great-grandparents. There is an apparent curse that has followed them from England and has followed generations of their male descendants. Cassie has weathered a disastrous marriage and impending divorce and her scoundrel ex pretty much spent every dime he could lay his hands on before he split. She is presently facing foreclosure and looking at the possibility of having to ask her older and geographically estranged sister for another loan. She refuses the idea of selling.

Not without some form of income, she does what she can to bring in food money though she inherited an artistic gift from her mother which she has been too depressed to exercise. Sinking deeper into the funk that has enveloped her in the situation, she meets a young couple, Ashley and Vince, on her property, accompanied by a German Shepherd, and impressed with them and taken by the moment invite them to stay with her for a while in exchange for their work on the carriage house.

Ms. Marion flips both chronological timelines as she brings in further details of Cassie’s family, both current and 80 years ago. Chapter headings clearly tell in which timeline the narrative is heading and it doesn’t take long to get into the rhythm. It is Cassie’s belief that her great-grandparents frequently visit her, signaling their presence by a distinctly pleasant odor, depending on the situation.

The couple suddenly disappears without explanation which sets off a chain of investigations that begins with local law enforcement and extends to the FBI. There is an attraction to the FBI agent, and Cassie appears to be in full rebound mode. The romance of Cassie and her suitors weaves in and out of the well-plotted story adding tension to the already increasing pressure to find the kids and confirm their well-being.

She is consumed with the problem of figuring out what happened to the kids after they’ve nearly completed the remodel of her carriage house and made a place in her heart. She flits between responsible and irresponsible as she gleans little clues to follow and discovers she didn’t know them, really at all. Not where they came from, not where they may have gone or what happened to them. Happy with having the couple around, they had created in her the urge to paint again and she is facing a large gallery showing by a friend and local art gallery owner who had previously handled some of her mother’s paintings.

I had a little difficulty getting into the well-developed protagonist’s shoes. She has that artist’s aura about her, tormented but talented. Headstrong and smart, she seemed to make less than informed decisions, while craftily planning her next move toward solving the mystery of the couple. The dog, Whistler, has become as much a part of her life as did his owners and she is happy to care for him, as he is now protecting her.

I received this ebook download from the publisher and NetGalley for this book tour and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for any who enjoy a mystery, supernatural or paranormal qualities, thriller and suspense, and strong women sleuths.

Giveaway

Sign up for  your chance to win (1) GRAND PRIZE – One $50 Barnes & Noble gift card Two signed hardcover copies of House of Ashes (one for the winner and one for a friend) Two signed paperback copies of The Fool’s Truth (one for the winner and one for a friend) Plus two book bags (one for the winner and one for the friend) (U.S. Only) in this  Rafflecopter giveaway 

About the Author

Loretta Marion - authorAn author of fiction, Loretta Marion’s writing bridges the genres of mystery and suspense and women’s fiction, always with hints of romance and humor, sometimes delving into the psychological and paranormal. She creates strong but flawed and struggling characters as appealing as the rich atmospheric settings in which the stories take place.

Loretta is a true bibliophile and has loved reading and creating with words since she was a young girl. And that affection for the written word followed her like a shadow throughout her life as she put pen to paper crafting marketing and advertising copy, educational brochures and newsletters. But her passion for writing fiction evolved from the unlikely world of hospice. As a volunteer, she set out to establish a Legacy Story program to honor and preserve the rich heritage of the fascinating people who were soon to leave this world. The meaningful experience inspired her to create her own interesting characters and stories. Her debut novel, The Fool’s Truth, was a twisty and suspenseful mystery with whispers of romance. Her newest novel, HOUSE OF ASHES – A Haunted Bluffs Mystery, is the first in a series published by Crooked Lane Books.

Though born and raised in the Midwest, Loretta fell in love with New England and has made it the setting for much of her writing. When not whipping out words on her laptop, she is traveling, enjoying outdoor pursuits, or is curled up with a delicious new book. Loretta lives in Rhode Island with her husband, Geoffrey, and their beloved Mr. Peabody, a sweet, devoted and amusing “Corgador” (Corgi-Labrador cross).  (www.LorettaMarion.com)

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

November 1 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

November 1 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 2 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

November 2 –  A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 3 – fundinmental – REVIEW

November 3 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

November 4 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST 

November 5 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW, GUEST POST 

November 5 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

November 6 – Valerie’s Musings – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 6 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

November 7 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  

November 8 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 9 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 9 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

November 10 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

November 10 – Curling Up by the Fire – REVIEW Great Escapes Book Tours 

Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this supernatural mystery!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Harvest of Secrets by Ellen Crosby – a #BookReview

Harvest of Secrets by Ellen CrosbyTitle: Harvest of Secrets (Wine Country Mysteries Book 9) by Ellen Crosby

Genre: Thriller & Suspense, Cozy, Mystery, Amateur Sleuths, Culinary

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publication Date: JUST RELEASED – November 6, 2018

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

352 pages

ASIN:B079DTGBD7

Title and Cover: Harvest of SecretsHarvest of grapes and …

Book Blurb:

The search for the killer of an aristocratic French winemaker who was Lucie Montgomery’s first crush and the discovery of dark family secrets put Lucie on a collision course with a murderer.

It’s harvest season at Montgomery Estate Vineyard—the busiest time of year for winemakers in Atoka, Virginia. A skull is unearthed near Lucie Montgomery’s family cemetery, and the discovery of the bones coincides with the arrival of handsome, wealthy aristocrat Jean-Claude de Marignac. He’s come to be the head winemaker at neighboring La Vigne Cellars, but he’s no stranger to Lucie—he was her first crush twenty years ago when she spent a summer in France.

Not long after his arrival, Jean-Claude is found dead, and while there is no shortage of suspects who are angry or jealous of his ego and overbearing ways, suspicion falls on Miguel Otero, an immigrant worker at La Vigne, who recently quarreled with Jean-Claude. When Miguel disappears, Lucie receives an ultimatum from her own employees: prove Miguel’s innocence or none of the immigrant community will work for her during the harvest. As Lucie hunts for Jean-Claude’s killer and continues to search for the identity of the skeleton abandoned in the cemetery, she is blindsided by a decades-old secret that shatters everything she thought she knew about her family. Now facing a wrenching emotional choice, Lucie must decide whether it’s finally time to tell the truth and hurt those she loves the most, or keep silent and let past secrets remain dead and buried. Continue reading “Harvest of Secrets by Ellen Crosby – a #BookReview”

The Long Paw of the Law by Diane Kelly – a #BookReview

The Long Paw of the Law by Diane KellyTitle: The Long Paw of the Law (A Paw Enforcement Novel Book 7) by Diane Kelly

Genre: Thriller & Suspense, Cozy, Animals, Police Procedural

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Publication Date: Happy Publication Day! October 30, 2018

ASIN: B079DW9LW3

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: The Long Paw of the LawLove the series covers-Tells you exactly what it’s about!

Book Blurb:

One night, while on duty with her four-legged crime-fighting companion, Meg gets an urgent call from her boyfriend Seth, who works for the Fort Worth fire department. A baby girl has turned up at the station with only two clues to her identity: One is a peace-sign symbol stitched into her blanket. The other is a word, written in string: help.

Megan follows every loose thread and, along with Brigit, ends up on a twisted path that leads to the People of Peace compound, the site of a religious sect on the outskirts of the city. Its leader, Father Emmanuel, keeps his followers on a short leash—and his enemies even closer. Could this be the abandoned baby’s original home? And if so, why was she cast out? Now that Megan and Brigit are on the case, the secrets of this reclusive cult are bound to be dug up. . .

Diane Kelly is back with The Long Paw of the Law, the seventh installment in her drool-worthy Paw Enforcement series. Continue reading “The Long Paw of the Law by Diane Kelly – a #BookReview”

Time’s Up, Afton by Brent Jones – a #BookReview

Time's Up, Afton by Brent JonesTitle: Time’s Up, Afton (Afton Morrison Series Book 4) by Brent Jones

Genre: Thriller, Crime Fiction, Vigilante Justice, Serial Killers

142 Pages

Publication Date: To be released October 29, 2018

ASIN: B07G25CNSF

Source: Author request

Title and Cover: Time’s Up, AftonLove these beautiful covers

Book Blurb:

Some secrets stay buried for a lifetime, but nothing lasts forever.

Connected to a number of high-profile deaths, Afton finds herself not only under scrutiny from the chief of police, but damned in the court of public opinion, as well.

In the aftermath of the fiery assault on Wakefield, a low-level gang has infiltrated the town, flooding its streets with bad drugs, killing several teenagers. As Afton prepares for the final showdown with her tormentor, she marks each gang member as a target for elimination, in a methodical plan to gain the upper hand. What follows is a race against the clock that will keep readers guessing until the very last page, as Afton risks life and limb to fulfill her murderous mission of doing good in the world.

Time’s Up, Afton is the fourth and final part in a new serial thriller by author Brent Jones. Packed with grit and action, The Afton Morrison Series delves into a world of moral ambiguity, delivering audiences an unlikely heroine in the form of a disturbed vigilante murderess. Continue reading “Time’s Up, Afton by Brent Jones – a #BookReview”

A Pirate’s Road to Key West by Michael Reisig – a #BookReview

A Pirate's Road to Key West by Michael ReisigTitle: A Pirate’s Road to Key West – Lafitte’s Gold – Book Nine

Genre: Caribbean and Latin America, Action and Adventure, Sea Adventures, Historical Fiction, Travel

Publisher: Clear Creek Press

259 pages

ASIN: B07JHJXF6V

Publication Date: Happy Publication Day!! October 17, 2018

Source: Author request

Title and Cover: A Pirate’s Road to Key West – Beautiful cover hints at island setting

Book Blurb:

In the ninth novel of his bestselling “Road To Key West” series, Reisig once again locks his readers into a careening odyssey of hidden fortunes, mercurial romance, conscienceless villains, and bizarre friends.

From Caracas to New Orleans, into the dark fringes of Haiti, down through the Windward Islands, then back into The Florida Keys, Kansas Stamps, Will Bell, and The Hole In The Coral Wall Gang chase a stolen Pre-Columbian treasure. Then there’s the Voodoo-practicing drug boss, a vengeful Columbian Don, and a highly artful assassin. Before you can catch your breath, it all rolls together into a turbulent Key West Fantasy Fest finale.

So, sit back, pour yourself a margarita, and slide into the islands one more time. You’re on “The Road” again.

My Review:

You know it’s going to be a fun read when the name of the bar is Eddie’s Bar and Swill.

I was introduced to the author, Michael Reisig, some years ago and have been a solid fan ever since. Mr. Reisig has a poetic way with words, his prose is almost beautiful. The man can spin a yarn and has a winning series in his Key West books, this being the ninth. Once again, he brings in intrepid protagonists Will Bell and Kansas Stamps as they involve the Hole in the Coral Wall Gang in the latest crazy South American adventure.

Whether Reisig sets the scene in the Caribbean in 1821 or Key West in 1989, you get that these two have a long history of adventure and survival, finding treasure, losing it, and regaining it. Will and Kansas have each other’s back and a high standard of morals–cleaving more right than wrong. They have a wonderful cadre of close comrades, several of whom are ‘Nam veterans who have survived whatever life threw at them. In their recent adventure, they picked up a new companion (besides Shadow, Kansas’s dog) named Arturio whose method of survival included a game that well prepared him for any that Will and Kansas were involved in. Arturio is an amazing character, street smart and fast.

Sundance was also recently introduced, a figure left in the shadow who has a habit of emerging with the most propitious timing. Sundance is a confirmed hypochondriac whose constant battle with the latest that he is suffering rises to new heights of hilarity. And Sundance has a peculiar way of securing free meals. (Another testament to the sense of humor the author infuses in his novels.) Still, with characters well developed or fairly new to the series, each entry to the series are different standalone adventures with new and heinous antagonists and luscious women best kept on the outside–looking in.

No strangers to the jungles of Venezuela, the boys have retrieved a treasure previously discovered, only to lose it, and form plans to get it back–again. The fun is in the execution–and I use that term advisedly. Reisig’s books always capture your attention immediately and then prepare you for a non-stop roller-coaster adventure that includes beautiful and quotable prose along the way.

A Pirate's Road to Key West by Michael Reisig“The gladiator rarely sleeps well the night before he salutes Caesar.”

“The wind pulled at me like a desperate lover.”

“It was like doing business with a viper–you watched the head at all times and hoped it bit the enemy.”

“…as selfish as it sounded, I didn’t want someone else’s life with me in it. I wanted my life with someone else in it.”

Descriptions set such a vivid scene, the reader is caught wincing at desperate situations or melting at the sight of a gorgeous view of the ocean and the calming sounds of the sea. Dialogue sets a solid feeling of menace or tender feelings of love with unerring tenderness and believability. These characters are so real you believe this all may have happened, the characters real persons, real experiences, and you are in the middle of it. Wild escapades, sometimes laugh out loud comical situations, but always entertaining.

Each time a new Reisig book comes out, it becomes my new favorite. I truly loved this one; such a rich experience, compelling and easy to read right straight through. I received an ARC from the author and, as always, thrilled and delighted to read and review. Recommended for any who enjoy action-adventure, sea adventures, pirate and treasure adventures, travel and exotic locations, and wild tropical thrillers. Shed your old tropes and discover excitement!

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Five BIG Stars Five Stars of Five Rating

Michael Reisig - authorThe Author:

Michael Reisig has been writing professionally for 20 years. He is a former Caribbean adventurer turned newspaper editor, award-winning columnist, and best-selling novelist.
After high school and college in Florida, he relocated to the Florida Keys. He established a commercial diving business, got his pilot’s license, and traveled extensively throughout the southern hemisphere, diving, treasure hunting, and adventuring.
Reisig claims he has been thrown out of more countries in the Caribbean Basin that most people ever visit, and he admits that a great many of the situations and the characters in his novels are authentic – but nothing makes a great read like experience…
He now lives in the mountains of Arkansas, where he hunts and fishes, and writes, but he still escapes to the Caribbean for an occasional adventure.

©2018 V Williams V Williams

The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller by Cleo Coyle #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller

I am super-excited today to provide a review at my blog stop for The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller by Cleo Coyle on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Please scroll down to sign up for this very special Giveaway!

Book Details

The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller (Haunted Bookshop Mystery)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Berkley (September 25, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0425237451
ISBN-13: 978-0425237458
Digital ASIN: B078VX9SNF  

Book Blurb

Penelope Thornton-McClure and her bookshop’s ghost-in-residence Jack Shepard are back on a new case in this delightful paranormal mystery from New York Times bestselling author Cleo Coyle.

A big bestseller leads to small town trouble.

Bookshop owner Penelope Thornton-McClure didn’t believe in ghosts, until she was haunted by the hard-boiled spirit of 1940s private investigator Jack Shepard. Now Jack is back on the job, and Pen is eternally grateful…

After an elegant new customer has a breakdown in her shop, Penelope suspects there is something bogus behind the biggest bestseller of the year. This popular potboiler is so hot that folks in her tiny Rhode Island town are dying to read it–literally. First one customer turns up dead, followed by another mysterious fatality connected to the book, which Pen discovers is more than just fiction. Now, with the help of her gumshoe ghost, Pen must solve the real-life cold case behind the bogus bestseller before the killer closes the book on her.

My Review

The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller by Cleo CoyleWhat a delightful and unique cozy mystery! Of course, I always enjoy a paranormal twist to the plot and this one proved a distinctive one at that. Apparently a 1940’s PI Jack Shepard was killed in the very bookstore in which the widowed protagonist Penelope Thornton-McClure joined her Aunt Sadie as co-owner. Jack Shepard totally exudes the part of a “hard-boiled” private investigator replete with period vernacular. I’ve discussed the “hard-boiled” genre previously that incorporates the noir element to novels popular in the late forties and fifties. It’s easy to conjure Humphrey Bogart in the part, though perhaps Jack has been tempered just a tad by Penelope (Pen) as she introduces her modern-day sensitivities to Jack.

A customer abruptly gasps at the back jacket of their current bestseller and flees the store with the book but without paying. Pen later finds her gloves and with the help of Jack secures the lady’s name and address. She was able to track down the lady but discovers her body, an apparent suicide. Pen doesn’t think so. She and Jack appear to have frequent conversations and this distracted me at first but not for long, as it is disclosed how Jack manifests himself; an interesting idea that!

I particularly enjoyed the appropriately named chapter titles and the little quotes to kick off the chapter. Not all from authors, the quotes ranged from George Burns to Marilyn Monroe and set a tone for the chapter, increasing expectation.

“Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip. Will Rogers”

“Sincerity. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made. George Burns”

“Today’s gossip is tomorrow’s headline. Walter Winchell”

“We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time. Vince Lombardi”

Besides well-known name quotes, the author(s) manages a few pearls of their own, several of which produced a chuckle. I also enjoyed the knowledge (or the thorough and effective research) imparted regarding classic books and authors, some of which I’d forgotten but produced an “oh, yeah…” There were also a couple racy innuendos and tongue-in-cheek puns, intended.

The setting is a little town in Rhode Island and although this is #6 in the series has no problem standing alone. It’s apparently been ten years since the last. The main characters from the previous series entries are back along with popular support members and each provide a rich component to the well-plotted mystery. The writing style is fun and the pace steady. The flashback dreams where Jack takes Pen back to 1947 with him to experience one of his cases has you wondering briefly about the interruption to the storyline until you see how it’s incorporated into the main plot. You may think you know who is behind the deed, but you won’t guess the entire story or motive. The story has a lot of personality and delivers a satisfying conclusion.

I was given the download by the publisher and NetGalley for this book tour and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. I’ll be looking forward to #7 in the series! Recommended for readers who enjoy a different and intelligent cozy mystery with a super-natural bent in their amateur sleuths.

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Giveaway

Sign up for your chance to win one (1) signed copy of The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller (A Haunted Bookshop Mystery) by Cleo Coyle + Ghost Tote Bag and $15 gift card! Rafflecopter giveaway 

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five of Five Stars 4.5 of five stars

About the Author

Cleo Coyle is a pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Both are New York Times bestselling authors of the Coffeehouse Mysteries–now celebrating nearly fifteen years in print. They also write the nationally bestselling Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, which were originally published under their second pseudonym, Alice Kimberly (The Ghost and Mrs. McClureThe Ghost and the Dead DebThe Ghost and the Dead Man’s LibraryThe Ghost and the Femme FataleThe Ghost and the Haunted Mansion). Alice has worked as a journalist in Washington, DC, and New York, and has written popular fiction for adults and children. A former magazine editor, Marc has authored espionage thrillers and nonfiction for adults and children. Alice and Marc are also bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, Imagine, and MGM. They live and work in New York City, where they write independently and together. You can learn more about Cleo, her husband, and the books they write by visiting www.CoffeehouseMystery.com.

Author Links:

Visit Cleo online: www.coffeehousemystery.com

Friend Cleo on Facebook:www.Facebook.com/CleoCoyle

Follow Cleo on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/cleocoyle/

Purchase Links:

Amazon     B&N     Kobo   Google Play  BookBub

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

October 1 – Babs Book Bistro

October 1 – Community Bookstop

October 2 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies

October 2 – The Montana Bookaholic

October 3 – Socrates’ Book Reviews

October 3 – MJB Reviewers

October 4 – The Avid Reader

October 4 – Mysteries with Character

October 5 – Teresa Trent Author Blog

October 5 – Reading Authors

October 6 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews

October 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy

October 8 – Laura’s Interests

October 8 – My Reading Journeys

October 9 – Rosepoint Publishing

October 9 – A Holland Reads

October 10 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

October 10 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews

October 11 – The Book’s the Thing

October 12 – Brooke Blogs

October 13 – Bookworm Cafe

October 13 – The Editing Pen

October 14 – Moonlight Rendezvous

October 15 – Curling Up by the Fire  Great Escapes Book Tours

Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

The Pint of No Return by Ellie Alexander – a #BookReview

The Pint of No Return by Ellie AlexanderTitle: The Pint of No Return (A Sloan Krause Mystery #2) by Ellie Alexander

Genre:  Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Cozy, Culinary, Amateur Sleuths

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press-Minotaur Books

Publication Date: October 2, 2018

ISBN-13:978-1250108654

ASIN: B079DV6VX

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: The Pint of No Return – Conveys picturesque Bavarian village

Book Blurb: Amateur sleuth Sloan Krause returns in The Pint of No Return, another delightful cozy by Ellie Alexander—this time investigating a movie star who’s murdered not long after arriving in Leavenworth, WA to film his latest project.

No other festival compares to Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, Washington. The whole town is buzzing with excitement over this year’s activities and eagerly awaiting Nitro’s latest offering Cherrywizen, made with locally sourced cherries. But local brewmaster Sloan Krause is tapped out. Between trying to manage the pub, her pending divorce with Mac, and her mounting feelings for Garrett, she’s fermenting in internal turmoil.

To complicate matters, dreamy movie star Mitchell Morgan and his production crew have arrived in the village to film during the authentic Bavarian brewfest. Mitchell has his eye on Sloan and a taste for Nitro’s Cherrywizen. Sloan escapes his advances for good when she finds Mitchell slumped over the bar. Is this a case of one pint too many, or has Mitchell been murdered by microbrew? [Don’t miss the Oktoberfest parade-click to see more!] Continue reading “The Pint of No Return by Ellie Alexander – a #BookReview”

Malice by Jennifer Jaynes – a #BookReview

Malice by Jennifer JaynesTitle: Malice by Jennifer Jaynes

Genre: Psychological Thrillers, Murder, Women’s Fiction Contemporary

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: Happy Publication Day! September 25, 2018

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Malice – Dark subject matter

Book Blurb: The perfect life becomes the perfect nightmare in a twisting novel of psychological suspense from #1 USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Jaynes…

Dr. Daniel Winters is living a fairy-tale life. He has a beachfront home in Malibu, a career as a respected pediatrician at a thriving Los Angeles practice, and a gorgeous new wife, Mia. For a man whose past was rife with mental illness, addiction, and thoughts of suicide, it seems too good to be true.

Then Daniel learns that a fellow pediatrician and his family were found slaughtered in their home. It’s just the first chip in the facade of Daniel’s perfect life. Little by little, everything starts to fall away. At work, his career becomes at risk when he’s asked to remain silent about a dangerous new drug. At home, Mia has gone from an affectionate newlywed to a mysterious woman carefully hiding secrets—and possibly a lover.

Then, another doctor is found dead, and as Mia’s behavior becomes increasingly suspicious, Daniel begins to wonder: Is paranoia getting the best of him…or has his fairy-tale life become a nightmare worse than he could have ever imagined? Continue reading “Malice by Jennifer Jaynes – a #BookReview”

In Cold Chocolate by Dorothy St. James #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

In Cold Chocolate

I am so delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for In Cold Chocolate: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery by Dorothy St. James on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Scroll down the page to enter the Giveaway for your chance to win this delectable treat!

Book Details

In Cold Chocolate: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (September 11, 2018)
Hardcover: 350 Pages
ISBN-10: 1683317432
ISBN-13: 978-1683317432
Digital ASIN: B078M3N9TC

Book Blurb

In Dorothy St. James’s third delectable Southern Chocolate Shop mystery, a new batch of chocolate and troubles of the heart cause a string of disasters for the Chocolate Box’s new owner, Charity Penn.

The vintage seaside town of Camellia Beach, South Carolina seems like the perfect place for romance with its quiet beach and its decadent chocolate shop that serves the world’s richest dark chocolates. The Chocolate Box’s owner, Charity Penn, falls even further under the island’s moonlit spell as she joins Althea Bays and the rest of the turtle watch team to witness a new generation of baby sea turtles hatch and make their way into the wide ocean.

Before the babies arrive, gunshots ring out in the night. Cassidy Jones, the local Casanova, is found dead in the sand with his lover Jody Dalton—the same woman who has vowed to destroy the Chocolate Box—holding the gun. It’s an obvious crime of passion, or so everyone believes. But when Jody’s young son pleads with Penn to bring his mother back to him, she can’t say no. She dives headfirst into a chocolate swirl of truth and lies and must pick through an assortment of likely (and sometimes unsavory) suspects before it’s too late for Penn and for those she loves in Dorothy St. James’s third rich installment of the Southern Chocolate Shop mysteries, In Cold Chocolate.

My Review

In Cold Chocolate by Dorothy St. JamesCamellia Beach, SC is definitely heating up. It’s August and the baby sea turtle nests are set to start hatching under the watchful eyes of the local sea turtle rescue volunteers. Charity Penn, owner of the Chocolate Box, is excited to join her best buddy, Althea, to watch for the hatching. Unfortunately, they end up in the crossfire of some deadly shooting, wounding Penn, and sending Jody Dalton to jail for the murder of Cassidy Jones. Jody is caught, dead to rights (so to speak) with not one but two smoking guns. Open and shut case, right? Sure looks that way, but Jody is the mother of Gavin, the son of her new heartthrob, Harley Dalton, and she promises Gavin she’ll have her mother out of jail before school starts. Uh oh…

Okay, this is the third in the series but could be viewed as a standalone as there was enough fleshing of the protagonist to learn who she is. Harley just a little less so. It’s one of those small towns where everyone knows everyone else’s business and not all the townspeople are strong supporters of Ms. Penn. Her heritage has been called to question and she is currently in a legal fight to settle once and for all the inheritance from her grandmother(?) Mabel which included the Chocolate Box.

In the meantime, Penn has poured her heart and soul into learning the business and remodeling, rehabbing, the building. She is building a strong and faithful customer base and has introduced a few new ideas to the shop, which apparently also allows coffee drinks. Her grandmother (if she is truly that) had a partner,  Bertie Bays, Althea’s mother and Penns roommate, who is valiantly trying to teach Penn the recipes for the exceptional Amar chocolate beans they use for their delicious dark confections.

Granted, there is a lot going on in this narrative, and some of it slows the well-plotted mystery. The victim is someone so despised that most of the town is probably happy to see him gone and doesn’t really care who is responsible. Harley and his son share the apartment upstairs next door to Penn and Bertie and Harley is also the attorney representing Penn.

There are a number of minor or support characters who round out the population of this small coastal town with a proximity to Charleston. The scenes are described well-enabling visions of the seaside community and the information on the sea turtles interesting. There is a sub-subplot going on with her little insecure five-pound black, brown, and white snappy papillon she was given by her ex that needs a LOT of training and all the training seems to include a box load of treats. (Seems to me half the time the dog is being rewarded for bad behavior, but he does make some successful progress through the novel.)

What appeared to be annoying on the surface, that of a 37-year-old woman abandoned as a child, damaged and flawed protagonist, raised by uncaring and abusive adults, who is constantly battling negative thoughts serves as an epiphany when you finally get inside her head for that ah ha comprehending moment. Maybe she is justified in being who she is! There were sympathetic characters and nasty relatives. Lots of little hints and it wasn’t too hard to figure out the antagonist. As the twists hit, as they inevitably must, they fly in the face of what you expected and actually were a surprise, including the big one at the conclusion–most satisfying.

There is some lag in the middle, and a surprising number of edit misses including missing words (or duplicates) and sentence structure problems. I was given this download by the publisher and NetGalley for this book tour and greatly appreciate the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for any who love small town southern-based cozies, chocolates (including recipes), dogs, and the saga of the sea turtles.

 Giveaway

Click on the link to sign up for your chance to win one (1) Delicious 12-piece Godiva Patisserie Truffle Chocolate Flight (US Only) in this special  Rafflecopter giveaway 

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four of Five Stars Four of Five Stars

Dorothy St. James - author

Mystery author Dorothy St. James was raised in South Carolina. She makes her home on the outskirts of Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, a neurotic dog, and a fluffy cat. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning. She put her educational experience to use, having worked in all branches and all levels of government including local, regional, state, and federal. She even spent time during college working for a non-profit environmental watchdog organization.

Switching from government service and community planning to fiction writing wasn’t as big of a change as some might think. Her government work was all about the stories of the people and the places where they live. As an urban planner, Dorothy loved telling the stories of the people she met. And from that, her desire to tell the tales that were so alive in her heart grew until she could not ignore it any longer. In 2001, she took a leap of faith and pursued her dream of writing fiction full-time.

* Dorothy St. James is the alter-ego of award-winning multi-published author, Dorothy McFalls. She enjoys writing in several different genres. Her works have been nominated for many awards including Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, Reviewers International Organization Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award, and The Romance Reviews Today Perfect 10! Award. Reviewers have called her work: “amazing”, “perfect”, “filled with emotion”, and “lined with danger.”

Author Links:

Website: www.dorothystjames.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dorothystjames

Twitter: www.twitter.com/dorothymcfalls

Purchase Links:

Indie Bound    Amazon      Kobo      Google Play      Barnes & Noble      BookBub

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

September 12 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

September 12 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 12 – Writing Pearls – REVIEW

September 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 13 – Island Confidential – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 14 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

September 14 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

September 15 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 15 – Community Bookstop – SPOTLIGHT

September 16 – Readeropolis – RECIPE

September 16 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

September 17 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 17 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – RECIPE

September 18 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

September 18 – T’s Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 19 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

September 19 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

September 20 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

September 20 – Mysteries with Character – RECIPE

September 21 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

September 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 21 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

September 22 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 22 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

September 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

September 23 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 24 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW

September 24 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 24 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 24 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

September 25 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

September 25 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

September 25 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT Great Escapes Book Tours 

Thanks to the publisher, NetGalley, and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery! ©2018 V Williams V Williams

Read and Gone – a #BookReview #BookTour #Giveaway

Read and Gone by Allison Brook

 

I am delighted today to present a review at my blog stop for Read and Gone, A Haunted Library Mystery by Allison Brook on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Scroll down the page to find and enter the Giveaway!

Book Details

Title: Read and Gone (A Haunted Library Mystery) by Allison Brooke

Read and Gone: A Haunted Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (September 11, 2018)

Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683317340
Digital ASIN: B078M7MXGR

Book Blurb

Twenty million dollars’ worth of missing gems bring Carrie Singleton’s long-lost and larcenous dad back into her life and it’s up to Carrie to clear his name.

A devoted dad is as precious as diamonds, but Carrie Singleton wouldn’t know since her dad Jim’s been on the lam most of her life. In an unusual family reunion, she finds Jim breaking into her cottage in the middle of the night. The fun really starts when he begs her to help him recover his half of a twenty-million-dollar gem heist he pulled off with the local jeweler, Benton Parr. When she refuses, Jim takes off again.

Carrie finds her father again behind bars for the recent murder of Benton Parr. Who made the connection? Unbeknownst to her, Carrie’s boyfriend Dylan, an insurance investigator, has been searching for the gems. Determined to find the jewels herself, she starts examining every facet of Parr’s life. She turns up a treasure trove of suspects, one of whom bashes her on the head as she’s searching the victim’s country cabin.

Retreating to the quiet confines of the library where she works, Carrie watches as Smokey Joe, the resident cat, paws at a hole in the wall. Is he after the library’s ghost Evelyn, or something shinier?

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My Review

Read and Gone by Allison BrookCarrie Singleton just celebrated her 30th birthday and is feeling pretty good about herself being back in a small town near her favorite great-aunt Harriet and uncle, a boyfriend, Dylan, who also functions as her landlord for her comfortable little cottage, and a peach of a new job with the local Clover Ridge CT Library where she is now head of Programs and Events. She has a kitty, Smoky Joe, who adopted her and a ghost named Evelyn Havers, who haunts the library and is only visible to herself and her young cousin. It’s that time before Christmas when the grey skies turn to snow and the streets and storefronts are decorated with lights and themes, and joyous Christmas jingles emanate from public speaker systems.

However, as she is often heard to think–it can’t last forever–and doesn’t with the return of her erstwhile, long-absent father, Jim, last in line to ever receive a father-of-the-year award. The man, a thief who has spent a stint in the slammer, would like his daughter to help him retrieve the jewels he and an accomplice stole some time back. Who wouldn’t welcome him back? Almost immediately, he is found beaten and ends up in the hospital, creating a conundrum for Carrie, aka Carolinda, aka Caro. She agrees to let him stay at her cottage until he is on his feet again (while looking for the jewels of course).

There were a number of things I enjoyed about this book. The library, the small town feel with the happy Christmas spirit, her loving relationship with her aunt and uncle and boyfriend. Smoky Joe, the kitty, who became a self-proclaimed library cat that functioned much the same as a therapy dog, especially with the older patrons. The paranormal inclusion of Evelyn, the ghost with the never-ending wardrobe and personal hair stylist was fun and bounced in and out of the story adding interest. The search is on (sorta) for the gems and meanwhile the first victim shows up. At least it shouldn’t be too difficult to prove it wasn’t her daddy–he was likewise occupied.

However, there were some rubs. First, I didn’t see a well-developed protagonist. Assumed she was fleshed in book 1–this one wasn’t, nor the boyfriend, who was one hour being a sleaze being noisily denounced, the next loverboy. There were times when the 30-year-old reverted to 15. The library sounds more like a city library with lots of employees and all kinds of events and programs (that had me wondering what kind of budget they had) then small town stacks. The cat? Smoky Joe scratches on her office door to be allowed in to eat–and that is where his litter box is also located. Then she grabs her lunch meal break of the day. (Did she open some windows? Why is the litter box in her office(?)–gag.) And the library coffee shop has mice? Where is the local health department?

The plot moves along at a typical cozy pace and does keep engagement. I liked most of the characters but couldn’t get into Carrie’s shoes and the mystery, the antagonist, was pretty obvious early on. Still, it is entertaining for those who appreciate the cozy mystery genre, felines with their felonies, and amateur women sleuths and I appreciated the opportunity to read and review.

 Giveaway

Click on the link to sign up for your chance to win one (1) Print Copy of Read and Gone: A Haunted Library Mystery by Allison Brook Rafflecopter giveaway

Allison Brook - author

Allison Brook is the pseudonym for Marilyn Levinson, who writes mysteries, romantic suspense and novels for kids. She lives on Long Island and enjoys traveling, reading, watching foreign films, doing Sudoku and dining out. She especially loves to visit with her grandchildren on FaceTime.

Author Links:

Website: http://www.marilynlevinson.com

My Amazon page: http://amzn.to/K6Md1O

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marilyn.levinson.10?ref=ts&fref=ts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/161602.Marilyn_Levinson

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarilynLevinson

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/marilev/

Purchase Links:

Amazon   B&N  BookBub

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

September 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

September 11 – Varietats – SPOTLIGHT

September 11 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 12 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 12 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

September 12 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 13 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

September 13 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 13 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – REVIEW

September 14 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

September 14 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

September 14 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT

September 15 – Reading Authors – REVIEW

September 15 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 16 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

September 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

September 17 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW

September 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

September 17 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 18 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW

September 18 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

September 18 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 19 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

September 19 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW  

September 19 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 20 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

September 20 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW Great Escapes Book Tours

Thanks to the publisher, NetGalley, and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Nice Try, Afton – a #BookReview

Nice Try, Afton by Brent Jones

Title: Nice Try, Afton (Afton Morrison Series Book 3) by Brent Jones

Genre: Thriller, Crime Fiction, Vigilante Justice

Novella: 111 Pages

Publication Date: To be released September 17, 2018

Source: Direct author request

Title and Cover: Nice Try, Afton – Love these beautiful covers

With Wakefield smothering in the smoky haze from recent arsons and oppressive humidity from the recent downpour in the summer heat, Afton scrambled to avoid detection by the National Guard seeking a meeting with her nemesis. The dramatic conclusion to book 2 left the town in smoldering shambles and Afton’s unintentional cohorts, including her brother Chris and his girlfriend Tia, Jared, and Kim, extremely vulnerable. Afton makes a last-ditch effort to cloak her companions and perhaps divert the familial revelation divulged in book 2.

Discussing the brutal assault in the open with companions accidentally involved didn’t do much to clear the air or formulate a plan. But one thing is sure–they must move. Afton and brother Chris go on a search, hoping to track down that familial connection. They discover, however, that Tia’s expected safe haven was insufficient to provide the protection they thought was proffered.

In an ever-increasing tangle of deception, misdirection, and twists, the narrative continues to stump and perplex the reader. Can there be any solution to this dark plot involving a protagonist professed vigilante murderess? Is she too heinous to actually become empathetic or are we beginning to see the emergence of contrived misconception here. There appears some kind of evolution in a psyche long forged by birth and later circumstances.

As I’ve mentioned before, Jones delivers his unlikely protagonist in intense and raw dialogue, adult situations, and language. It is a novella of nail-biting hard-core suspense and you won’t get to breathe until Book 4 is done and won. These characters pit each other in good vs evil and we’ve yet to see their true colors as they continue to evolve.

Author Brent Jones calls his series an abstract of “moral ambiguity.” Indeed! A puzzling contradiction. See my review of the second in the series, See You Soon, Afton and Go Home, Afton (#1) here. It’s a series, and really, you can’t and shouldn’t see book 3 as a standalone. Go back and begin with Go Home, Afton. (These are short–you’ll catch up!)

The Afton Morrison Series by Brent Jones

I was sent this ebook novella download by the author and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. You should begin with book 1 to get the complete fleshing of Afton. This series is recommended for any who enjoy a dark plot, graphic situations, crime, adrenaline-inducing action, mystery, and suspense.

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four of Five Stars Four of Five Stars

author Brent JonesThe Author: From bad checks to bathroom graffiti, Brent Jones has always been drawn to writing. He won a national creative writing competition at the age of fourteen, although he can’t recall what the story was about. Seventeen years later, he gave up his career to pursue creative writing full-time.

Jones writes from his home in Fort Erie, Canada. He’s happily married, a bearded cyclist, a mediocre guitarist, and the proud owner of two dogs with a God complex. Subscribe to his newsletter (AuthorBrentJones.com) or follow him on social media (@AuthorBrentJ) for updates.

©2018 V Williams V Williams

The Forbidden Door – a #BookReview – #greatreads

The Forbidden Door by Dean KoontzTitle: The Forbidden Door (A Jane Hawk Novel) Book 4 by Dean Koontz

Genre: Currently #60 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Suspense

Publisher: Bantam – Random House LLC

Publication Date: To be released September 11, 2018

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: The Forbidden DoorCompelling colors, interesting face, same model as book covers 2 and 3(?) but I don’t see here a vision of the “real” Jane Hawk.

Okay, yes, I didn’t read book 1 but I did read books 2 and 3 and I must say if Book 2 hooked you, Book 3 stayed the course, Book 4 absolutely cements you into Hawk’s boots. They are kick-ass boots worn by a quick-witted, intelligent ex-FBI agent gone rogue. She’s mad.

Not mad, furious.

She’s tough, intuitive, and on an urgent mission as book 3 ended with a call from her son, Travis…his guardians are missing. Continue reading “The Forbidden Door – a #BookReview – #greatreads”

Samhain Secrets – a #BookReview

Samhain Secrets by Jennifer David Hesse

Title: Samhain Secrets (A Wiccan Wheel Mystery) Book 4 by Jennifer David Hesse

Genre: Currently #1202 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Holidays

Publisher: Kensington

Publication Date: Happy release date! August 28, 2018

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Samhain Secrets – Love that book cover and the requisite black cat

Here is your chance to peek into the life of a modern day witch, or in this case a Wiccan, and learn something about this spiritual culture practice in a delightful cozy mystery setting. Protagonist Keli Milanni is a serious practitioner. There is only one problem: She was raised Catholic and has not divulged that split to family.

Spells, incantations, calls to spirits, tarot cards, and sisterhood. Keli weaves the practice into the quest to find the person who murdered her aunt, Josephine O’Malley, an estranged free spirit of the family who chose to leave the nest early, only tapping connections inconsistently with no notice and disappearing just as quickly. It’s a fun romp into the paranormal side of life that strikes a few of those loosely held superstitions many of us are loathe to admit. Continue reading “Samhain Secrets – a #BookReview”

Burning Ridge – a #BookReview

Burning Ridge - a Timber Creek K-9 Mystery by Margaret Mizushima

Title: Burning Ridge (A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery) by Margaret Mizushima

Genre: Currently #204 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Traditional

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Publication Date: To be released September 11, 2018

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Burning Ridge – Cover depicts K-9 major character

Burning Ridge comprises #4 in the Timber Creek K-9 Mystery series and the second I’ve had the privilege to receive through download from the publisher and NetGalley. Protagonist Deputy Mattie Cobb is a handler for regal German Shepherd police K-9 Robo who has been trained for specialty assignments in search and rescue in the remote and rugged Colorado mountains. Continue reading “Burning Ridge – a #BookReview”

Death on the Menu by Lucy Burdette #BlogTour #BookReview

Death on the Menu by Lucy Burdette

I am so delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for Death on the Menu by Lucy Burdette on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.

Book Details

Death on the Menu: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Crooked Lane Books (August 7, 2018)
Hardcover: 295 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683317463
Digital ASIN: B078MBKH95

Book Blurb

When a killer strikes just before flan time, beloved food critic Hayley Snow is forced to sniff out the killer before someone else bites the dust.

Hayley Snow, fiery food critic for Key Zest magazine, has just landed a ticket to one of the most prestigious events in Key West: a high-brow three-day conference at the Harry Truman Little White House. Even though she’ll be working the event helping her mother’s fledgling catering business, there’s plenty of spicy gossip to go around. But just before her mother’s decadent flan is put to the test, Key West’s most prized possession, Hemingway’s Nobel prize gold medal for The Old Man and the Sea, is discovered stolen from its case.

Unsavory suspicions point to Gabriel, a family friend and one of the new busboys working the event, who mysteriously goes missing moments later. Anxious to clear his name, Gabriel’s family enlists Hayley to help find him, but right as they begin their search, his body is found stabbed to death in the storeroom.

Hayley has no shortage of suspects to interrogate and very little time before the killer adds another victim to the menu in national bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s delectable eighth Key West Food Critic mystery, Death on the Menu.

My Review

Hayley Snow is a food critic writer for the local Key Zest Magazine in Key West, Florida, but has been caught up in her mom’s huge catering opportunity for the lavish and historic Key West/Havana conference to be held at the Harry Truman Little White House on the island. Her mother is over-the-top thrilled for the catering opportunity thinking the success of which would mean solid future success for her fledgling catering business. She has hired additional local personnel to help with the menu and set up.

The unusual event has been orchestrated to bring both the Cuban dignitaries and the American officials together hopefully to quiet tensions between the two countries. Hayley has been asked, politely, by her detective boyfriend (Nathan) bordering on serious suitor, to please stay out of it as with the officials involved, promised protests, and security tight but nervous, the event could turn nasty.

The event has invited some major guests, set up displays, and scheduled tours, including that of Ernest Hemingway’s Key West home. Hemingway’s Nobel Prize gold medal has been loaned especially for the momentous occasion for display, but almost immediately goes missing during the first dinner at the Little White House. It is the son of one of her local assistants that is an immediate POI, but then he is found stabbed in a kitchen storage room. His family asks Hayley to please help with the investigation.

This is apparently the eighth installment of the Key West Food Critic Mystery series but my introduction to both the series and the author. I’ve read of Key West before, but the author really gets you onto the surface streets to the real town, the flavor, the sights, smells, and the people. I loved her description of the architecture and the colors, the ethnic mix of people and the food. And the history–loved it–not only the stories about the Truman Little White House–I never knew–and it also played host to Taft, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton. (Truman felt that the “white house” was wherever the president was.)

And Hemingway, his stories are larger than life, as was he. All of them true. He wrote To Have and Have Not during his (1930’s) years in Key West. And he loved cats? Seriously? Not just cats–five-toed cats–polydactyls.

But back to the plot:

It’s a cozy.

I’ve often mentioned that for me a cozy mystery seems to dawdle. There is always a reason, reprising the protagonist for those new to the series. Bringing in the support characters, in this case, her beloved roomie, Miss Gloria, is up in years but not old. (Also recruited to help with the festivities.) She lives on Houseboat Row, which sounds ducky, until you try to figure out how the black tank is emptied. Otherwise, I got such a mental picture of her life on the island, I wanted to get the fish scale scraper.

The food. Not so much into the food–especially spicy–but “ropa vieja” sounded interesting and definitely got my attention with flan. Did someone say Flan? I love flan! (Almost every version of it!) However, the recipe presented at the back of the book prepared enough to feed an army. You’d definitely have to cut it down, but then reading the directions, it sounds like too much trouble. Next time I’ll understand why it’s one of the more expensive desserts on the menu.

Hayley is from the “interview the suspects” school of thought. Unfortunately, everyone at the event becomes a suspect and because of the tight security, only those vetted allowed to attend. How to narrow it down? Interview.

Bottom line: I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline, the descriptions, and most of the writing. Hayley is devoted to her mother and Miss Gloria, though her mother is not as well fleshed here as Miss Gloria, and I couldn’t get into Hayley’s boots (did she ever wear a helmet on that scooter?). Nathan? Meh. But he does seem devoted and fortunately, the romance aspect didn’t logue down the plot line. The conclusion didn’t feel wholly gratifying. The narrative might function well for others as a standalone and worked okay for me, though Hayley may be better developed in previous installments.

I was given the download by the publisher and NetGalley through Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Recommended for anyone interested in the history of chugs, Cuba/Key West relations, popular Key West tourist sites, and cozy mysteries. (What is a chug? You don’t want to know.)

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five of Five Stars 4.5 of five stars

About the Author

Lucky Burdette - author Clinical psychologist Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib) has published 16 mysteries, including the latest in the Key West food critic series, DEATH ON THE MENU (Crooked Lane Books, August 2018.) Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime. She blogs at Jungle Red Writers and shares her love for food with the culinary writers at Mystery Lovers Kitchen She lives in Madison CT and Key West FL. Read more at www.lucyburdette.com.

​Author Links:

Facebook: WWW.facebook.com/lucyburdette

Twitter: www.twitter.com/lucyburdette

Instagram: www.instagram.com/lucyburdette

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/robertaisleib

GoodReadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4781149.Lucy_Burdette

Purchase Links:

Amazon  B&N  IndieBound BookBub Kobo

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

August 1 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

August 1 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 2 – Mystery Lovers Kitchen – RECIPE

August 2 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 2 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 3 – Killer Characters – CHARACTER GUEST POST

August 3 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

August 4 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

August 4 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

August 5 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 6 – Map Your Mystery – INTERVIEW

August 6 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW

August 6 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

August 7 – Jungle Red Writers – GUEST POST

August 7 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – RECIPE, REVIEW

August 7 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT

August 8 – The Conscious Cat – GUEST POST

August 8 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

August 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

August 9 – Mystery Lovers Kitchen #2 – RECIPE

August 10 – Wicked Cozy Authors – GUEST POST

August 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

August 11 – Book Babble – REVIEW

August 12 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

August 13 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

August 13 – Mallory Heart Reviews – REVIEW

August 14 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

August 14 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 15 – Fabulous Florida Writers​ – GUEST POST

August 15 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

August 15 – Varietats – REVIEW Great Escapes Book Tours

Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Knot My Sister’s Keeper by Mary Marks #BookTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Knot My Sister's Keeper by Mary Marks

I am over the top delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for Knot My Sister’s Keeper by Mary Marks on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Scroll down to register for your chance to win the Giveaway!

Book Details

Knot My Sister’s Keeper (A Quilting Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Kensington (July 31, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496701848
Digital ASIN: B0776GV62J

Book Blurb

In tracing her ancestry, quilter Martha Rose discovers a ritzy half-sister, a stash of family secrets, and a decades-old mystery that only she can unravel . . .

Martha Rose is shocked to find she has a half-sister, especially one so different from her. Giselle Cole is wealthy, widowed, and lives a glamorous life in West Los Angeles. At least her grandmother was a quilter! But Giselle can’t answer Martha’s many questions about their father—he disappeared when she was only a child and the few clues left behind indicate he may have been murdered. So Martha and Giselle team up on an investigation that weaves them through the streets of L.A., their father’s hidden love affairs, and into some mysterious unfinished Cole family business . . .

My Review

Absolutely delightful cozy mystery that seamlessly integrates the love, history, and function of quilting with an unusual premise that sets this cozy far apart.

Daughter Dearest sends off for a DNA test for her mother and the results knock her socks off. Martha Rose is surprised to discover she has a half-sister she never knew existed. What’s more, Martha’s sister, Giselle Cole, is rich. Really rich. Stinkin’ rich. (Wouldn’t we ALL love to get that kind of DNA surprise!) But there are even more surprises. Giselle is an acquired taste, having been rich enough that she’s never had to apply a filter to her mouth and they clash pretty quickly. It is Giselle’s grandmother who also shares a common interest in quilting and provides a familial link.

However, it was Giselle who actually knew their father, until he disappeared when she was eight years old. Martha, of course, is not a total stranger to sleuthing and it’s not long before she off to figure out what happened to daddy dearest, an acclaimed artist. Daddy apparently had a host of secrets–and he was artistically adept at keeping them.

Martha is no spring chicken and opts for comfort over chic and has a fiancé as well as a close circle of friends. Her daughter Quincy informs her mom she has a big announcement. (uh oh! She has been seeing Detective Noah Kaplan with whom Martha has had a previous run in.)

Martha is Jewish; Giselle is not.  Martha’s financé, Yossi, or “Crusher,” is an undercover agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco and has connections which will prove useful since this constitutes a really cold case. Her dad disappeared more than thirty years ago.

This book is such a hoot! I really enjoyed the author’s writing style, that terrific sense of humor that came through. Loved that the protagonist is a middle-aged woman with a few pounds and is involved in a hobby she is good at. Her days are busy! Her romantic interest is cleverly done with a mature view and few stars in the eyes. Very down to earth and believable! Giselle, while a widow, is 180 degrees from the sensibilities of Martha and their contrast makes for some hilarious dialogue. The support characters are well fleshed and contribute to a sense of tight kinship, even given the southern California location.

The more they learn of their mysterious and erstwhile father, the less they want to know, then absolutely MUST know what happened to him. Though the suspicions are there early on, the red herrings or twists send them in all directions and they eventually learn to work with each other.  It doesn’t take long either before the reader is invested enough that he/she must learn the truth as well.

This is the sixth in the series, but absolutely functions as a standalone and at this point, I’m such a fan, my difficulty will only be in waiting for the next book. These characters become real, want-to-know-them-better friends. The story was well-plotted and progressed smoothly, never lagged, and the conclusion most satisfying. You don’t have to be a quilter or Jewish to love this most-absorbing tale, just a person who reaps the pleasure of a well-written novel. This really is one you won’t want to put down and are sorry to see it end, even if it does end well.

I received this ebook download from the publisher and NetGalley through Great Escapes Book Tours and greatly appreciate the opportunity to read and review. Totally my pleasure. Recommended to all; push your cozy mystery boundaries.

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Giveaway

Be sure to sign up for your chance to win one of two print copies of Knot My Sister’s Keeper in this Rafflecopter giveaway 

Rosepoint Publishing:  Five of Five Stars Five Stars of Five Rating

About the Author

Mary Marks - authorBorn and raised in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, Mary Marks earned a B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA and an M.A. in Public Administration from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. In 2004 she enrolled in the UCLA Extension Writers Program. Her first novel, Forget Me Knot, was a finalist in a national writing competition in 2011. She is currently a reviewer of cozy mysteries for The New York Journal of Books at www.nyjournalofbooks.com.

Readers can visit her at www.marymarksmysteries.com and https://www.facebook.com/mmarks2013

Purchase Links

Amazon – B&N   Google Play     kobo      BookBub

Tour Participants:

July 31 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

July 31 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT

August 1 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

August 2 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

August 2 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

August 3 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

August 3 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 4 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

August 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT  

August 5 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

August 6 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

August 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST

August 7 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 7 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

August 9 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

August 9 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST

August 10 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

August 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

August 12 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

August 13 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW

August 13 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW Great Escapes Book Tours

Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©2018 V Williams V Williams